columbianus (aka Whistling Swan)
The tundra swan is a large,
long-necked waterbird with short legs and a short
duck-like bill. It has an average length of 36
inches and a wingspan of 85 inches.
It can be distinguished from
other swans by the presence of a yellow spot at
the base of its black beak, the black of the bill
extending up to the eye but not encircling it,
and the straight demarcation on the forehead
between black bill and white feathering. It also
has black legs and feet. Both sexes are similar
in size and appearance.
The tundra swan is found
throughout most of North America, spending its
summer in the Arctic regions of Alaska and Canada
and its winter along the West Coast of the United
States, in New Mexico and Texas, and along the
Eastern Seaboard. It enjoys fresh water habitats
such as lakes, ponds, and streams, but will also
visit salt water bays and estuaries.
Tundra swans are generally
monogamous, often forming breeding pairs that
stay together for several seasons.
Three to six dull, white eggs
are laid in early spring. The female rarely
leaves the nest during the incubation period, and
the male keeps a constant guard. The chicks hatch
by late June and are reared by both parents for
about a year.
Tundra swans feed on the seeds
and roots of aquatic vegetation, as well as some
genus & species Cygnus columbianus
Animal Diversity Web http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Cygnus_columbianus/
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